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#EndSARS protest: Insurers jitter over liabilities

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The number of properties destroyed by hoodlums across the country in the wake of the #EndSARS protests is becoming a source of concern to underwriters.

There are indications that many of those who lost their property to the protests would be entitled to claims. This poses a huge challenge to insurance companies.

Specifically, an industry analyst, who spoke to The Guardian, at weekend, said that all fire and special peril policyholders who have renewed their policies and suffered losses would be adequately compensated.

The expert explained that fire insurance policy cover grants protection for extraneous peril on request which may be covered on payment of additional premium, like the peril of storm, riot and strike.

In the past week, many assets were destroyed or burnt by hoodlums. While many such assets may have been insured, a few pay the appropriate premium.

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According to the analyst, this could pose a challenge to many people who may have lost their properties. He noted that no underwriter would delay or refuse to pay a claim to a policyholder whose premium is up-to-date.

“Regrettably, the blame is always wrongly put at the doorstep of insurance companies, which the regulator is battling to correct,” he said.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Universal Insurance Plc, Ben Ujoatuonu, who spoke on the development, said insurance companies would pay for every cover that extends to riot and commotion, but will not pay for covers that exclude riots and commotion.

He said: “it depends on the cover the company or individual has bought. If the policy excludes riot and civil commotion, then the insured will not receive any indemnity from his insurance company.”

He however said that some policies might have been extended to cover riot and civil commotion, in such situation liability will attach.

He stressed that for most of the companies that arranged their insurance through brokers, there is every likelihood that they would have bought such extension.

He also frowned on the situation in the country, and acknowledged that it is not the best of time for the insurance industry in Nigeria especially after the covid -19 paramedic which affected global businesses.

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